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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-8



Verses 1-8:

To Bless Israel In The New Kingdom Era

Verse 1 continues Zechariah’s apology or express reason for the continued message he is to speak and write. It is of and from the Lord of hosts, to which all who are not fools must give heed; As certified by our Lord Luke 24:25; Luke 24:27.

Verse 2 asserts that the Lord had been jealous for Zion, with a great jealousy of love that resulted in a fury against her oppressors: He had indignation against Israel’s enemies, Nahum 1:2.

Verse 3 continues with "Thus saith the Lord," a disclaimer that what Zechariah had to say was from him, but solely a message from God who comforted and assured the remnant, "I am returned unto Zion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem." This alluded to His sanction of the restored worship of Israel, and pointed to a day when He would dwell in person there, in the golden millennial era, Jerusalem is then called a "city of truth," from which truth was to be centrally taught, Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 17:17. And it shall also be called the mountain (or government) of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain or (holy government), Psalms 48:1-2; Jeremiah 31:23.

Verse 4 repeats "Thus saith the Lord," that old men and women would yet live in and walk the streets or Jerusalem, the city of peace. No more would wars drive peace and tranquillity from the city, as her people obeyed their God and prospered again, as in days of old, Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 4:40; Isaiah 65:20; Isaiah 65:22.

Verse 5 promises that the city of Jerusalem shall, in that future glory day, have her streets full of boys and girls, playing in the streets. It is a description of a time of peace, joy, and prosperity for Israel in her land and city. This described a people settled with security and numerous offspring, considered a blessing among the Jews, Psalms 127:4-5. Contrast Jeremiah 6:11; Jeremiah 11:21-22.

Verse 6 calls the Lord as witness, that as it was then a day of marvel, among the remnant, to be back. from Babylon in Jerusalem; in their homeland, even more so would it be a day of marvel in the eyes of the Lord, when He would bring them again from among all nations, to dwell among them forever, in Jerusalem, v. 3; Genesis 18:14; Nu 1123; Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17-27; Luke 1:37; Romans 4:21. See also Zechariah 11:7; Isaiah 1:9; Romans 11:5.

Verse 7 is a pledge from the Lord that He will save or deliver His people from powers of the east and west countries, Psalms 1:1. The "east" is literally "the rising of the sun," while the "west" is literally the "going down of the sun," Isaiah 1:1. Wherever His people had been scattered, Luke 21:24; Isaiah 11:11-12; Isaiah 43:5-6; Ezekiel 37:21; Amos 9:14-15; Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 31:33.

Verse 8 reaffirms the Lord’s pledge to "bring again" His people, Israel to dwell (permanently) in the midst of Jerusalem. Thereafter He assures that in keeping His covenant they will be His people and He will be (exist as) their God, in truth and "in righteousness," Leviticus 25:12; Jeremiah 4:2; Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:1; Ezekiel 11:20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:7. See also Hosea 2:21-22; Isaiah 48:1; 1 Kings 3:6.

Verses 9-19

The People To Heed Their Present Prophets

Verses 9-19:

To Hold Haggai And Zechariah

Verse 9 relates that the Lord called upon the people of the returned remnant of Judah and Israel to let their hands be strong or courageous as they were challenged by their prophets of the day, Haggai and Zechariah, in those days that the foundation of the temple was laid and the people called upon to complete building of it as the house of the Lord, 2 Samuel 16:21; Haggai 2:4; Ezra 3:12; Haggai 2:15-19; Ezra 5:1-2. Their adversity for disobedience was followed by courage to build, 2 Samuel 16:21.

Verse 10 reminds the remnant that before the time they again proceeded to rebuild the temple, v. 9, while the temple lay neglected, there was no prosperity, no produce of the field sufficient to repay man or beast for his labor, Haggai 1:6; Haggai 1:9-10; Haggai 2:16-19; Nor was there any civil peace or tranquillity in the land, for anyone to do business, at home or abroad, 2 Chronicles 25:5. For the Lord had set the hand of every man’s neighbor broiling against him, even back in their own land. Their foes weakened and discouraged the returned remnant in their own land, as they neglected rebuilding their temple, Ezra 4:1; Ezra 4:4.

Verse 11 then comforts, encourages, and assures the Jewish remnant in Jerusalem, that the Lord will not permit their foes to disturb them, as they put Him first in completing their temple of worship, before they sought to rebuild their land. It is Old Testament testimony that those who put the Lord first will be cared for by the Lord, Matthew 6:33; Proverbs 3:3-5; Luke 6:38.

Verse 12 pledges prosperity to the obedient of the Lord:

a) As the vine gives her fruit, Hosea 2:21-22; Haggai 2:19; John 15:16.

b) The ground, fields give their increase in productivity, Galatians 6:7-8.

c) The heavens give off their dew, in dry land where rains were rare.

d) And the Lord causes His people to possess all these things, Isaiah 61:7; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8.

Verse 13 prophesies that as the houses of Judah and Israel had’ been a curse among the heathen in dispersion, in Assyria, Persia, and Babylon, so would the Lord save or deliver them, so that they should become a blessed people and a blessing to Him, as prophetically pledged, Genesis 12:2; Genesis 48:20; Ruth 4:11-12; Isaiah 19:24-25; Zephaniah 3:20; Haggai 2:19. See also the idea that the Jews are to be a source of blessing to the Gentiles, Micah 5:7; Zephaniah 3:20. Based on the integrity of God, who can not lie, Romans 3:3-4; they are called upon to have no fear, but let their hands of service be strong, Deuteronomy 20:3-4; Ephesians 6:10.

Verse 14 recounts the Lord’s assurance to Zechariah to relate to the remnant of the Jews, that as surely as He purposed to punish their fathers when they provoked Him so long, (and He did) and He had not failed to punish them, Haggai 2:5; Matthew 25:31-32; God repented not, did not turn from His purpose to punish, because they did not turn from their sins, 2 Chronicles 36:16; Psalms 18:26.

Verse 15 explains that even so, or after a similar manner, he had purposed to do well in Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah because of her obedience in putting Him first in rebuilding the temple, as a national center of Divine worship, around which to rebuild their land, 1 Samuel 15:22-23. Again they are called on to fear not, v. 13; Jeremiah 31:28; As also expressed Luke 12:32; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18.

Verse 17 calls upon those who are the building remnant to:

1) Speak every man the truth, or only "true things," to his neighbor; Not that they were not also to be truthful to foreigners, but it was a more aggravating sin to lie or deceive their own brethren, Proverbs 12:19; Proverbs 19:9; Ephesians 5:25.

2) They too were charged to administer justice in truth and peace, in matters of judgment in their gates, before the people, where courts of judication were held in the east.

Verse 17 further charges them to avoid imagining evil in their hearts against their neighbor, their own brethren, Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 3:29; These were charged to love no false oath because the Lord asserted that he hated all these kind of things, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5. See also Psalms 5:5-6; Psalms 16. Such was also expressed in His abstract law, the ten commandments, Exodus ch. 20.

Verse 18 states the repeated refrain from Zechariah that what he spoke and here wrote was not his own, but "The Word of the Lord," through his prophetic mouthpiece, "true from the beginning," Psalms 119:160; Luke 24:25; Luke 24:27; 2 Peter 1:21.

Verse 19 affirms that the Lord of hosts had declared, for the benefit of the Jewish remnant, that the fast of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth month (July, August, October and January) should be a fast of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts (followed by set feasts) to the house of Judah. On the basis of this assurance they are called upon to love the truth and peace, Jeremiah 52:6; Jeremiah 41:1; Isaiah 35:10. They were to live in harmony among themselves.

Verses 20-23

The Future Of Jerusalem

Verses 20-23:

Jerusalem---Future Center Religious Center Of The Earth

Verse 20 prophesies that they shall come, gather of their own accord, because they want to come, people (even heathen or Gentiles) and inhabitants of many cities, up to the house of the Lord, to Zion, in Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3: Micah 4:2. The main import of this prophecy alludes to the future. at the coming of our Lord, Romans 9:12; Romans 9:15.

Verse 21 foretells that the inhabitants of one city shall call upon those of another city to join them in hastily going up to the house of the Lord, to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of host’s favor. Zechariah then adds, "I will also go," manifesting love and care for others, Song of Solomon 1:4. This implies individual earnestness in’ witnessing faith in the Lord, Acts 1:8; Psalms 107:2.

Verse 22 adds that many people and strong nations shall voluntarily come up to Jerusalem, in that day, to seek the good will of the Lord of hosts, as further foretold and assured, Jeremiah 4:2; Micah 4:1; Haggai 2:7; Galatians 3:8; Revelation 15:4. This contrasts with the few of the remnant of Jews that were then being motivated to rebuild for God.

Verse 23 prophesies that in the day of the golden reign of Jesus Christ, ten men (representing Gentile governments in disarray) shall take hold of him that is a Jew, to follow him, saying, pledging, "we will (desire) to go with you (up to Zion) for we have heard that God is with you all," Leviticus 26:26; Numbers 14:22; Isaiah 66:18; Revelation 7:9, To take hold of ones skirt is to entreat or appeal for mercy or help from one who is superior, Isaiah 3:6; Isaiah 4:1; Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:12. That real one is Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-8.html. 1985.
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